Setting the Stage for Nature Photographs

Sally Stoneking

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Slowly I walked up to this small flock of geese. Their colorful feathers glistened in the afternoon sunlight. I was being very careful not to disturb these beautiful creatures of nature.

The four of them walked in unison closer to the wall. They were preparing to take flight if things became too much of a threat from this silver faced bird. I often wonder what I look like to the birds and wildlife I am taking pictures of. They always seem to sit up and take notice, as if to pose just for this photograph opportunity.

I got several pictures and turned to leave them to their daily routine. Then as I turned I thought of something I had told a friend not long ago. “I am just going to have to go up to a flock of geese and make them fly off. Then I will get a close enough picture of geese in flight. " I am always trying to capture these birds as they fly overhead. But they fly so high and so fast, I am rarely happy with the results.

So here I was with the perfect opportunity. If I held my camera just right, and approached them gently I was hoping they would glide into the river in front of us. I returned to my quiet approach. After all I didn’t want to scare the feathers off of them. I walked with my camera in front of me slowly, and just as I had hoped, off they went. One at a time they flew off the wall and into the river. A fellow walker even stopped so I could get the best photograph possible. It was an exhilarating experience.

When I checked the pictures later I had two excellent shots of the Canadian geese wings as they folded to catch the wind. You can almost count the feathers as they carry those large bodies into the water. Sometimes in nature, you have to set the stage for the photographs you want to take.

Even though I got a good shot, I must say that it could be better. I do admire the work of photographers as they sit for hours sometimes behind a blind (hidden from site) just waiting for the right shot to come along. You have to love nature to want to do that.

But sometimes little tricks like a bird feeder on your patio or in your back yard can attract wildlife closer for your own nature pictures. I certainly prefer sitting in my kitchen waiting for the birds to come to me. Okay so I am a little lazy, but I do love taking pictures of nature and flowers.

I remember the picture I lost of an owl swooping down to capture a newborn duckling one spring. And another that flew off from his perch when he decided I had taken enough pictures of him. It certainly does not pay to get too excited when you are taking pictures of birds in flight.

Sally Stoneking is an enthusiastic photographer and digital art dabbler. Owner of Nature and Flower Pictures where you can share in her enthusiasm for taking pictures and creating art. Visit for a full selection of pictures to download. Join Nature Tales for more tips and tricks in nature photographs.


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